Historically Famous and Still a Family Favorite
Antonia Cirjak - Last updated January 29, 2021
Things you Should Know about the Egyptian Mau
The Egyptian Mau is a unique cat. It is said that it is the “first” cat, the one from which we derived all of the other domestic cat breeds that came after it.
Experts believe that the origins of the Egyptian Mau date at least 30,000 years back.
You can see images of these cats on various ancient Egyptian scrolls, paintings, and even sculptures. In these images, the cats were always standing next to rulers, kings, and queens.
The Egyptian Mau was a feral cat for many years before it sought human companionship by itself. The breed name literally means Egyptian cat since “mau” is the Middle Egyptian word for cat.
Appearance Matters. What does an Egyptian Mau look like?
These cats are usually medium-sized and short-haired. The Egyptian Mau size is perfect for a pet. The breed conformation is a mix between the slender grace of a Siamese and a Burmese’s compactness.
The Mau has a muscular body, and their hind legs are longer than the front legs.
Egyptian Mau’s eyes are green, although kittens and young adults can have an amber tone to theirs. Once the cats are around eighteen months old, this tone will disappear from their eyes.
The longer hind legs help the Egyptian Mau achieve high running speeds. It also has a special flap of skin that extends from the flank to the back knee. This allows the Mau to achieve greater agility and also to cover greater distances with each step.
Markings of the Mau
An interesting fact about the Egyptian Mau is that it is the only naturally spotted cat breed. Every other spotted breed of cats has been created through human experiments and efforts. In these experiments, even wild cats were used in the crossing process.
The face of the Egyptian Mau has the standard markings of a tabby cat. This includes the distinctive “M” shaped mark on its forehead.
Their cheeks are decorated by two lines resembling mascara. The lines begin at the corner of the eye, and they follow the contour of the cheek. Egyptian women supposedly used these lines as inspiration for their eye makeup.
What colors do the Egyptian Mau cats come in?
Egyptian Maus come in five different colors. Starting with the most common, according to the breed standard, you can find them in:
There are also black and pewter Maus; however, they aren’t allowed on shows.
It's all Personal. The Egyptian Mau Temperament
Egyptian Maus aren’t known just for their distinct looks; they also have a unique temperament and personality. The best way to describe them would be as gracious.
These cats love to copy hunting behavior. They can become proficient hunters if you let them roam outside.
Their temperament is stable, even more than in any other cat breed. They are genetically predisposed to be as charming as possible, spirited, and friendly. They all behave similarly, so it is easy to pick the best Egyptian Mau kittens for you.
The voice of the Egyptian Mau is also one of their most striking distinctions. When stimulated, these cats can create the most unusual sounds, from chirps to snickers. They are also known to wiggle and twitch their tail when happy, almost like they are performing a little dance.
These cats are highly intelligent and can become overly attached to their family. It is not strange to see them greeting their owners gleefully at the door once they return home. However, they won’t become “lap cats.” They have an alert nature that won’t allow them to become too relaxed.
Egyptian Maus can adapt to almost any type of pet owner. Children can play with them, and seniors will enjoy their company. This is the type of cat that even people who don’t usually like animals will love.
Caring for your Egyptian Mau
The coat of the Egyptian Mau is of medium-length. It can be of different texture, and it all depends on the coat color.
For example, those with smoke coloring will have a fine and silky coat. Maus with bronze or silver color will usually have a coat that has a more resilient texture and high density.
Egyptian Mau doesn’t require much grooming. You should just brush their coat weekly and trim their nails. If their ears are dirty, you can clean them using a gentle cleanser. Their teeth should be brushed frequently, and that’s about it.
Do Egyptian Mau cats shed a lot?
Egyptian Maus do shed quite a bit, so they are not recommended to people that might be allergic. However, they are quite meticulous themselves, so you won’t need to spend much time grooming them.
They do like being brushed, so keep that in mind. It is not a bad idea to brush them at least once a week. This way, you will take care of their shedding while also indulging them.
Are Egyptian Mau cats hypoallergenic?
No, Egyptian Maus are not hypoallergenic cats. They have short to medium hair that they do shed regularly. This is why you should groom them at least once a week.
Still, if you have a less severe allergy, you’ll be fine with these cats. They can take care of their shedding by themselves, so it is not a big deal.
The Health and Happiness of your Egyptian Mau
The Egyptian Mau lifespan is around 15 years. They seemingly have an endless amount of energy, so they usually lead an active life. They typically are relatively healthy.
However, they do occasionally suffer from a rare condition known as Leukodystrophy or Krabbe’s disease. This disease can lead to the deterioration of nerve functions, mostly in the limb muscles.
This results in poor coordination, weakness, and eventually, the inability to stand. There is no cure or treatment for this disease. It can appear when they are young and progress rapidly.
These cats require an active lifestyle to remain happy. You should allow them to use up their energy regularly. Give them a way to exercise, and they will even self-regulate their nutrition. You won’t need to fear that the Egyptian Mau will ever become overweight.
If you plan on owning an Egyptian Mau, keep in mind that they are very temperature sensitive. They do not like cold climates.
Feline History. Where does the Cornish Rex come from?
Feline geneticist Dr. Leslie Lyons has conducted research on Mau's origin. The results support the theory that the Egyptian Mau originated in Egypt.
There is also ample archaeological evidence that supports this theory. This includes artwork that features spotted cats with the same facial markings found in the Egyptian Mau. Some believe that these cats were revered as if they were gods.
The first time these cats were selectively bred was in the 1950s. Egyptian Maus were imported to the United States by the Russian princess Nathalie Trubetskoy in 1956.
She was living in exile in Italy, which was populated by a large number of Egyptian Maus. Once she was allowed to go to the United States, she brought her cats with her.
The Mau was recognized in 1977 by the Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association in 1979. It is still considered a rare breed.
Questions people often ask about Egyptian Mau kittens
+Are Egyptian Mau cats friendly?
+Do Egyptian Mau cats have powers?
+How rare are Egyptian Mau cats?